But she came and worshipped him,
Pleading again, “Lord help me!”
Jesus was on the road walking toward the region of Tyre and Sidon when a Gentile woman approached Him and begged Him to heal her daughter. Often Jesus had compassion on all who came and He healed them. And sometimes He tested them. But not this time, at least not right away. This time He was silent; in fact, He completely ignored her…not once, but who knows how many times. The next thing we know, the disciples are urging Jesus to send her away because she was bothering them with all her begging. At last He spoke, but it wasn’t encouraging. “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel” He tells her. I’m pretty sure I would have given up about this time because my feelings were hurt and I would have walked away angry. But not this woman. This is when she got really serious. Matthew tells us she came and worshipped Jesus and pleaded some more for Him to help her. This was one determined woman. She was desperate. She had heard how Jesus could heal and cast out demons and she was not leaving so easily. Jesus speaks, but again, it isn’t sounding very good for her. He says, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” Apparently, she understood what he was saying. You see, she was a Gentile. She was considered unclean, a pagan. It was common to refer to them as dogs. What sounds derogatory to us was just everyday language. This woman was not offended and she didn’t miss a beat…”That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath the masters table.” Wow! Tenacious and quick-witted. If Jesus was testing her, she passed the test with flying colors! He commended her for her great faith and immediately granted her request.
What can we learn from this? One, we need to ask. All of us are good at this point. We have all asked for God to intervene and do whatever it takes for our prodigal to be rescued. Our whole group is centered around this premise. Secondly, be tenacious, rather than offended. Matthew 7:7 (NLT) says:
Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking,
and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened.
It doesn’t say, “If you ask once and it doesn’t happen, it must not be My will so leave Me alone.” It doesn’t say, “Quit asking, I’ll get to it when I get to it.” Nor does it say, “You’ve asked, now sit back and wait.” God is teaching us in this moment; a principle in how He wants us to pray in faith. In fact, He wants us to have great faith! Third, this woman was desperate. It was her desperation to see her daughter free that kept her going. I know some of you have been asking for a long time. But this is not the time to get offended or lose heart. Instead, let God see the desperation. Ask God to let You feel His heart for your prodigal. Cry out to Him. Be willing to fast. Weep for your prodigal. Seek the breakthrough. Be tenacious. Pray with passion. Confess any sin against them. Groan and wail if it comes. Believe the breakthrough may be just around the corner. Remind God of His promises. Trust His timing and that He always does what is right and good.